Friday, August 08, 2014

39 Weeks, part 2

Goodness, it's so hard to finish this birth story with two children.
I labored for a total of 22 hours. As I mentioned, 5 hours were without an epidural. I'm not going to lie, it hurt like a mo'fo'. Then I got blissed out for a while. Ahhh.
Some time during the day, I experienced back labor pains for the first time in my life.
HOLY S***. That was a whole new pain I had never experienced. It got to be so bad that one of my nurses contacted the anesthesiologist. He came in and said that he could provide a stronger dosage that would help. Unfortunately, it lasted for only a little while and then the back pain would r-a-g-e again.
I had great nurses who, with the help of The Man, would turn me on my side. I felt a bit like a rotisserie chicken. But whatever it took for me to get maximum benefit from my epidural, right? Hellz yah. The Man and my mom continued to be my side, only leaving to eat or to use the restroom. Thankfully, I wasn't hungry. Probably due to the drugs although the IV drip probably also helped. At least with the thirst.
Around 4:00 PM, in the 21st hour, a nurse said I was finally ready to push. I have to say, I was so relieved because I still worried things were going to go down like last time - after all the laboring, I would only be a few centimeters dilated and it would be all for naught. Again. But nope, my nurse said I was ready to push!
But I was confused. Where was everyone else? I know a cesarean section is major surgery and that's why I had a room full of doctors and nurses. But seriously, just one nurse? I didn't say anything because I was merely curious, not alarmed. And, of course, I was also just plain exhausted. Later, The Man would tell me he thought the same thing. "Uh, my wife is going to start pushing. Where IS everybody else?"
But we were tired. So we did what we were told to do. He held one leg while the nurse held the other. My mom patted my hair and shoulder while I rested between pushes. And, by golly, I pushed with all my might. Well, as much might as I could provide with no feeling from my diaphragm down. It was a lot like one saw on the movies - woman bearing down and pushing with all her might.
Oh, one of the challenges of having an epidural for 17 hours? No food or drink except for water. On the plus side? When one is pushing, the less likelihood of pooping while pushing.
I pushed for nearly an hour. Sometime during that hour, another nurse joined us. I have to say, I knew nurses were bad asses but I didn't know that they had to also manage and facilitate the vaginal births. Hats off to them, they've really got huge jobs that encompass just about everything. I think when The Bean's head was crowning, one of the nurses got the midwife.
Maybe too much time has passed - it's now been 17 days - but I can't remember all the details. For instance, I wish I remembered the two nurses names but I don't. The midwife's name, however, is on The Bean's hospital birth certificate so I know I can at least find that out. She had visited me from time to time to check on me but I hadn't seen her much during my visit. Anyhow, I remember the midwife came in at the very end of my labor and took over. She told me when to push and minutes later, I heard the Bean cry.

I cried when I heard his cry.
Even though I had an epidural, I still more lucid than when I gave birth to The Bun. This is the part that is bitter sweet. The moment when I heard him cry, I was so moved. I looked at The Man and I felt like we, with God, had done something miraculous. I wish I had felt that moment with The Bun. I remember feeling detached from the experience, glad that The Man felt moved by her birth but I had very little emotion. It felt unreal and I was so doped up and out of it. The only thing that makes me feel less guilty is knowing that The Bun doesn't have memories of that experience.
After I heard The Bean's cry, the midwife and nurses vigorously rubbed him down and placed him on my chest. He was so little! It was hard to believe he was 7 lbs. 3 oz. and 20 inches long. He looked itty bitty like The Bun! But he wasn't. While he was by no means huge, my lady parts told me otherwise as my midwife took several minutes to stitch me up. How many stitches? She didn't say and I was too chicken to ask.
 Thankfully, recovery was a lot different from my first pregnancy. I was able to leave the hospital one day after giving birth. They have a policy in which the mother and baby have to stay at least 24 hours after the birth. I recalled not getting a ton of rest after my first delivery but, because we had made it known we were interested in leaving the next day, we got extremely little rest. We have hospital staff coming into the room just about every hour, sometimes more during regular business hours. It was ridiculous. But in addition to the 24 hour policy, we also had to stay because it took a while for me to get feeling back in my legs. I couldn't go to the bathroom unassisted for quite a while. When I thought everything was fine and kind of dismissed the nurse's request (more like demand) that I contact them if I need to use the restroom, I almost fell from the toilet onto the floor. My right leg, the one taking the longest to regain feeling, just gave out on me. So yes, after that experience, I pressed the call button every single time I needed to use the loo.
I know I'm not giving all the details like I did with The Bun's. For instance, I didn't write about how I didn't recover feeling back in my legs until about 12 hours after I gave birth. And how when they moved me from Labor & Delivery to Post Partum, I swear I had the smallest nurses who thought they could transfer me by a wheelchair. But when they realized I couldn't move myself AT ALL and there was no way they could lift with their 95 lbs bodies, they had to move me by bed. And even that was a freakin' s-show because they eventually had to transfer me onto another bed. And all I could do was lie there and try to pull myself  up with my arms which was a joke because I have very little upper body strength.
But at least it's done. For the most part. I wanted to write down The Bean's birth before I plum forget everything. Currently, I'm waking up every 2-3 hours every night to feed and we have that same schedule during the day. I'm thankful God blessed me with a good pregnancy, labor and healthy baby so I try to keep that top of mind when I'm bone weary:)

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

39 weeks.

This pregnancy has, in just about every way, been different than my first. There were little and significant differences - my skin changed for the better instead of for the worse, my hair was drier this time around rather than voluminous, I didn't get morning sickness, I didn't have gestation diabetes, and while I had the same weight gain, I showed a lot more this time around.
It's so funny. I couldn't remember how far along I was with The Bun before I gave birth. Thanks to this little blog, I see that I was in my 38th week. This time around, I was wondering if I would be going past 40! The Bean appeared to be very comfortable, resting high in my uterus and I wasn't having any contractions, Braxton-Hicks or real.
Funny how things just fall into place or happen for a reason. The Man had been working crazy hours, doing double shifts and it looked like it wouldn't stop until I gave birth. On Monday, July 21st, he had worked a full day and planned to go back around 10 PM, the usual as of late. Instead of resting, though, he accompanied me to pick up The Bun at preschool. Ordinarily he wouldn't do that but I was doing my friend a favor and meeting one of her customers at a local coffee shop to give him some product samples on her behalf. (She lives in Hawaii so, clearly, couldn't do it herself.) I felt safe enough since we were meeting in a public place but The Man didn't like the idea that his whole family - wife, daughter and son-in-utero - were going to meet a stranger so he came along.
We picked up The Bun from school and then went to one of our favorite local coffee shops to wait for the guy. We ended up eating dinner because the guy was stuck in traffic. Once he got there, I gave him the sample and we quickly headed home. The Bun's bedtime is supposed to be at 7:30 PM but it takes us a while to get her ready for bed.
We parked our van in our reserved spot and started to walk to our home. Just steps away from the van, I felt a warm sensation and wondered briefly if I just lost control of my bladder. I looked down and didn't see anything running down from my shorts or running down my legs but the sensation continued. I felt my bottom and it was wet. Ohh, that's right.
"Hon," I said and The Man turned. "Hon, I think my water broke."
"Are you serious?" He later told me he asked that because he didn't see anything running down my legs so I must have been joking.
"Yup. I'm pretty sure my water just broke."
We both paused and looked at each other. I had not experienced my bag of waters naturally breaking so this was new to both of us. I can't remember word for word what he said but essentially it was something like, "OK, let's go."
Honestly, I didn't read any books this time around. I did have two pregnancy apps, one free and one purchased, that sent me reminders and notifications of what to expect. But that had been the extent of my preparation and research. Luckily, I did remember that if I wasn't experiencing contractions, it was a good indicator that I had time to do things like take a shower.
While The Bun and I showered, The Man made calls to his work. He had to cancel the work that was scheduled for tonight as well as talk to his boss and the man who would take over while The Man goes out on paternity leave. The Bun figured out that something was going on and I did my best to explain to her that the baby was coming so mama and daddy had to go to the hospital. She didn't quite understand why she couldn't join us (insert super cute sad face) but she could tell that it wasn't the time to negotiate.
We drove to my parents house so we could drop off The Bun with my dad and pick up my mom who wanted to be there for the birth. (My dad emphatically said he would rather take care of his granddaughter. I'm guessing the waiting and the blood made going to the hospital unappealing to him.) By this time, my contractions were significant enough for me to start timing them. They were roughly six minutes apart.
Our new hospital had just opened in June. Oh, the luck! This one had all the great new nurses from the old hospital but all the perks of an updated facility - all private rooms, free wi-fi, yadda yadda. The Man, being the man, wanted to do a dry run last weekend so we were familiar on where to park, what floor to be on and where to check in. Unfortunately, they weren't giving tours yet so we knew what to do ... up until checking in to Labor & Delivery.
It was quiet anti-climatic. I thought that they would be in more of a hurry since my water broke and I was having contractions. Nope. The OB-GYN was performing a cesarean section and the mid-wife was working with a patient in critical condition. The nurse said I was going to have to labor on my own for a little bit since I was still in the beginning stages.
I was first put in an admitting room that wasn't bad at all. It was small but big enough to fit a bed and seats for my mom & The Man. There was a good sized flat screen TV ... but they made you watch 3-4 hospital videos about the new facility and care before you could watch TV. It's not terrible but isn't distracting enough when one is weathering contractions.
After the midwife delivered a baby, she was able to check on me. Specifically, check the fluid from my pad in my panties (I know, TMI but part of the story so and isn't this whole entry TMI?) to make sure it was my water breaking and not something else. Of course it was so I was admitted.
I was then moved to this HUGE room, twice maybe even triple the size of the holding room, complete with a warming station for the baby, special lights in the ceiling I just knew were pretty much spotlights aimed right for my lady parts when it was time, and a good sized bathroom. I later realized that it's also big enough to walk around so one doesn't have to walk and labor in the halls.
Evidently at Kaiser, if you're having a standard birth, you are assigned a midwife. If you're pregnancy is considered high risk, you get a doctor. This time, I had a mid-wife. I'd normally be totally fine with that EXCEPT I suspect that this specific midwife didn't like pain relief medication. Because when I told her I wanted an epidural (remember, I had started to have stronger contractions in the holding room), she told me that she doesn't recommend an epidural until I was at least 5 centimeters dilated because an epidural could delay my labor. At that time, I was only at 2 1/2.
I went on to have about five hours of labor with no epidural. Maybe it's needless to say but I'm going to say it - I was miserable. In the type of person that always goes for the pain relief and not try mind over matter or ride the pain out or any of that other nonsense. Yup, I wrote nonsense.
Eventually, there was a shift change and the new midwife introduced herself. I remember her frowning when she saw I was in pain. She asked me if I wanted an epidural and I told her I was told I had to wait until I was 5 centimeters. She then said that my comfort was a priority so if I wanted an epidural, I should get one. And she went and immediately contacted the anesthesiologist. Unfortunately, I was having strong enough contractions that it was challenging to get the epidural in me. Along with the anesthesiologist, there was a nurse assisting him. She was quite militant and kept sternly telling me they I cannot move when the doctor started because he needed me to be very still. When a contraction would start, she would reprimand me before I did anything that I MUST not move.
Ordinarily, when I'm in a vulnerable state, I tend to default to a meek character. But she was really ticking me off by proactively reprimanding me before I even did anything that I finally snapped, "I'm NOT moving!" She looked butt hurt and said she was only trying to help because it's a delicate procedure. But I didn't care, she had pissed me off.
What a world of difference! Once I got the epidural coursing through my body, it was like night and day. Although I wasn't allowed any food or drink except water, it was heavenly. I could relax, I could even sleep. In fact, when The Man wanted to take a photo of us, I could even calmly reapply my eyeliner beforehand!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

38 weeks and my bag is packed.

Oh me oh my. Well, I'm only a week behind now:p I'm actually on my 39th week but haven't taken a photo yet.
This is the Bun and my 38th photo from last week:

How cute is she? She loves that bear. That bear has "SF State" monogrammed on it in purple. She calls him, "Berry Blueberry". Or maybe it's "Beary Blueberry". In any case, I think it's quite clever.
I have a bag packed and in my car for the "just in case" scenario. Just in case I'm at the doctor's and she decides I need to be admitted, like last time. Or just in case my water breaks in the middle of the night and I go into labor. Although, I must say, Baby Boy seems extremely content. Like, we're-going-to-go-past-40-weeks content. No false or real contractions in sight.
Here is his going home outfit:
Nothing fancy but it's so soft and I like that it has snaps versus a zipper. I learned from The Bun that snaps are better because I could keep her top covered while I changed her diaper. Very important when you have a skinny baby with no fat to keep her warm! Although, again, doesn't seem like this baby is going to have the same issue:p I pray he is a healthy baby but of slight weight. Someone in my church recently gave birth to a 11+ lbs baby girl. I think that would rip me to shreds.
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

And I was doing so well! 35, 36 and 37 weeks.

Ah, crud. I was really happy with how I got back into the swing of things regarding my blog. And then I fell off the wagon.
What can I say? Other than I got even more tired, busy with wrapping up the j-o-b before maternity leave and kick starting my network marketing business.
I know ... what?! Who decides to start a business in her 9th month? THIS chick. Seriously, though. I decided to be more involved and give it a go even though it's probably the craziest time to do so. I've never done anything like this before but I really love the products and am truly grateful to have them in my life. I genuinely believe they made me be healthier by eating better, all while reaping the added benefits like weight loss. Anyway, I can say a lot more but it would sound like a sales pitch. Let me just say that the health products made such a positive impact on me that I moved forward even if it seemed like a crazy time to explore this new venture!
All these things and LIFE (my lovely family, friends and regular routine) caused me to drop a ball - this blog.
35 weeks.
36 weeks.
37 weeks. Taken today!
The Bun is a GREAT sport. She often doesn't feel like taking photos. Correction: She doesn't feel like taking 10-15 shots until her vain mama finds one that she likes! But she gets into it and we eventually have some great ones, like the most recent one. Her smile is beautiful.
This is my first week of maternity leave. I had my doctor's appointment today (moving forward, weekly, until I give birth). There was a big part of me that was nervous it would be deja-vu. I worried that I would be admitted due to preeclampsia and have to have a c-section again. Fortunately, all was fine with my check-up and I was free to go about the rest of my day. 
Every day I pray that The Bean is healthy physically and mentally. I'm anxious and excited to meet him, knowing that the day will be life-changing ... and painful. I told The Man that if I got a solid week of rest (unlike my first pregnancy in which I was admitted to the hospital on my very first day of maternity leave!), I would be OK if he came a week or two early. The Man, however, does not feel prepared and wants our little guy to arrive on time, no later and definitely no earlier;)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

34 weeks.

Posting a week late. I completely forgot. I've been working at work. Then, when I get home, I'm 1) napping 2) getting in some family time 3) chores/errands 4) network marketing 5) futzing

But here are some cute pictures:
Big Sister shirt from my friend, Stacey.
Our Week 34 photo submission.
The Bun and friend modeling kimonos made of scarves (the preschool director's daughter is very creative.)
Now they're modeling saris (told you she was creative.)
I don't know what this is but it's another look created by scarves.
Basically, this post has turned into a page showing off the cuteness of The Bun!

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Friday, June 13, 2014

33 weeks.

Oh boy, he's coming very soon:) It's exciting and frightening all at the same time.
Here are this week's photos. I can only upload them through the blogger mobile app so I can't tell which one I picked for Facebook until they're already uploaded. I believe it's the second photo:
Bean, isn't your sister adorable?
<7 weeks to go!
The reduced hours at work help. I try to sleep as soon as I get home so that I'm not a tired mess when it's time for me to pick up The Bun from preschool. Or when she gets home because The Man picked her up from her grandparents. These little naps help so much.
My nights have gotten worse. I used to be able to go right back to sleep when I would wake up but now I stay up for hours. Last night, I took a Benadryl (something I had done before but didn't want to depend on so stopped) and it helped a lot. It's supposed to be perfectly safe for pregnancy so I'm going to start it again. Sleep has also been affected because The Man has had to work a double shirt, going back at night. Since I'm such a light sleeper now, I tend to wake up when he gets home because the pups make such a ruckus. He tries to prevent this by sleeping downstairs and that helps a little. It reminds me of my first pregnancy. The Man didn't work a double shift but his scheduled changed to swing so he would come back very early in the morning. The pups would lose their $hit and everyone would be awake after midnight.
I also have to be careful of my hormones. I'm more emotional and paranoid but I keep it in check by thinking through all my feelings before acting out on them. I think this has saved me just about every day:p I don't want to perpetuate the stereotype of women because off their rocker during their woman time but it's a bit like that. It's like the most hormonal PMS day, every day. But being aware of it helps so I can rationalize my thoughts rather than just act out. Admittedly, the one emotion that's hard to control is anger so it's challenging for me to prevent snapping at someone, especially if it's because I'm snapping back in response of being attacked. Yes, I tend to want to cut a b****.
I'm a worry wart about what matters most to me - my marriage - but The Man is really good at showing me how he loves me through his actions so I focus on that rather than what I perceive as "problems." I also worry about my relationship with The Bun, my parents, as well as worry about my career but, again, I try hard to keep my paranoia in check.
Doctor says I'm tracking perfectly. The Bean's heartbeat is strong and so are his kicks! Have a minor infection but nothing over the counter meds can't fix, said the doctor, so I'm not worried. Again, just excited and nervous;)
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Friday, June 06, 2014

32 weeks: 8 months!

Oh me, oh my, I am soooo tired. I know, I'm even annoying myself by how much I say and write it. But if I could sleep for the remaining <8 weeks, I totally would. Alas, that isn't feasible when you have a little girl, 2 pups and a hubby.
I posted the photo below and someone on FB said it looks like The Bun is blowing up a balloon.
Yep, that seems about right.
She is too cute. And such a trooper! I owe her a Mama/Daughter outing.

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